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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Autism-linked genes in a Chinese population; measuring sleep; Zika virus

by  /  21 July 2023

July 17th

  • Among 3,122 children in Puerto Rico who were exposed to Zika virus in utero, 3.5 percent have an autism diagnosis. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
  • Variants of the gene RPH3A, which are linked to autism and epilepsy, appear to increase the number of glutamate receptors at extrasynaptic sites. Genetics in Medicine
  • Children with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome have altered cortical network activity, as measured by magnetoencephalography. Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Mice missing the TET2 gene curtail their social interactions; replenishing TET2 in the lateral habenula restores sociability. Cell Reports
  • People who carry variants of the CUL3 gene tend to have intellectual disability, sometimes accompanied by autism traits, according to a preprint. medRxiv
  • A genetic analysis of autistic people with Chinese ancestry has identified nine new candidate genes for the condition. Biological Psychiatry
  • Using Neuropixels probes, researchers have mapped neural activity across the brain in mice performing complex tasks, and created a publicly available dataset, according to a preprint. bioRxiv
  • Variants of genes that code for the major histocompatibility complex and human leukocyte antigens may contribute to autism by way of inflammatory processes in the gut. Translational Psychiatry
  • Autism researcher Calliope Holingue recently discussed her work on the bidirectional relationship between the gut microbiome and autism traits. NPR
  • Voice acoustics can distinguish autistic from non-autistic children with 91 percent accuracy. Translational Psychiatry
  • Sleep diaries kept by caregivers tend to overestimate sleep duration and underestimate nighttime awakenings in children, compared with objective sleep measures; this pattern is similar whether the children have neurodevelopmental conditions or not. Spectrum reported on sleep-monitoring devices in autistic children in June. Sleep Medicine Reviews
  • Many autism-linked genes date back to the Cambrian period and are highly conserved in vertebrates. Autism Research
  • Stem cells from people with 16p11.2 deletion syndrome can be induced to grow into functional neurons regardless of the starting cell type or reprogramming factors, according to a preprint. bioRxiv
  • Epidural analgesia during childbirth is not associated with autism traits in children, according to a prospective observational study. Spectrum covered the controversy surrounding epidurals and autism earlier this year. Journal of Clinical Anesthesia
  • Preschool-aged children who lived through the COVID-19 pandemic show delays in development — by about four months — unlike children who reached age 5 before the pandemic. JAMA Pediatrics
  • Variants of the genes CACNA1C and CACNA1D, which code for L-type calcium channels, are linked to neurodevelopmental conditions; variants often involve changes in noncoding regions of the gene. Channels

    A research image of a human leukocyte antigen.

    Binding nook: Variants of human leukocyte antigen, which contains a peptide-binding site for antigen presentation, are linked to autism.

  • Autistic children have lower performance on episodic and face memory tasks, which is linked to alterations in the brain’s default mode network. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
  • The brain dynamics linked to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder traits differ in children with autism and ADHD versus those with only ADHD. eNeuro
  • Whole-genome sequencing of blood from infants takes longer than commercially available targeted gene panels but returns a higher yield of diagnosis-linked gene variants. Spectrum has reported on efforts to include more genes in neonatal screens. JAMA
  • The low-cost, open-access journal Aperture Neuro is now on a new platform, according to editor-in-chief Peter Bandettini. Twitter

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TAGS:   autism